May 20, 1938

CON
CON
LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

From where the bridge

crosses the river at the extreme northern point. That is more or less a guess on my part. Part of the road which is under construction tourists are not encouraged to use. But I can assure the hon. member that from Donald to Canoe river the road is in first class condition. I have been over it myself. May I call the attention of the committee to the fact that we have before us the item respecting the administration of the Northwest Territories. There are several other items under which parks administration could be discussed.

(Mr. Stewart.]

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SC

William Hayhurst

Social Credit

Mr. HAYHURST:

Has the government

under consideration the addition of Cooking Lake forest reserve to the Elk Island national park?

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

I understand some discussion in that connection has taken place with the responsible minister in Alberta.

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Item agreed to. Eastern Arctic expedition, $27,000.


IND
LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

This item concerns chiefly the Royal Canadian Mounted Police posts maintained in the far north to exercise our sovereignty over the country. The Hudson's Bay Company take in supplies to the eastern Arctic every year, and we have an arrangement with them whereby the supplies to be sent in for the mounted police, for hospitals, for scientific expeditions and scientific purposes, are carried on the Hudson's Bay Company's boat. The arrangement is one that we consider quite satisfactory for the government. This item is practically all for that purpose.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Would the minister give

the assurance that there is no effective challenge of Canada's sovereignty over that vast northern area? I ask the question because we frequently see in periodicals of other countries reference to expeditions, the language of which would indicate that they consider that territory as open, not attached to any country, whereas my understanding is that Canada claims full sovereignty over the area lying in the Arctic north of Canada. It is a subject that I think should not be allowed to drift, and a frank declaration from the minister now would not be harmful. I have no desire to criticize or to press the matter further than to request a statement from the minister.

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

I know of no challenge

that has been made to Canada's occupancy or ownership of the whole area lying to the north. Certainly when any person from any other country desires to fly over that area or visit it, the permission of the Canadian government is first asked. The principles upon which sovereignty has been claimed over the area in the remote north which may not have been visited by man, say between the northern shores of Baffin Land and the pole, have been fairly clearly established in international usage, and under those principles, according to the advice that is given to me, Canada's position in regard to this

Supply-Yukon-Administration

area can, I think, be regarded as secure. Certainly at the present time no challenge has been made so far as I am aware to our right of occupancy and ownership of the area in question.

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CON
LIB
CON
LIB
IND

James Samuel Taylor

Independent

Mr. TAYLOR (Nanaimo):

Would the

minister state whether any new occupancy is being entered upon by the northwest mounted police?

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

There is a police post at Craig harbour on Ellesmere island; Bache peninsula port was the most northerly that has been established, although they have been further north than that, I am advised, and planted a flag or erected a mound or something of the kind on that territory. I think our possession of the territory is pretty clearly established. We have some mounted police there; my colleague the Minister of Justice tells me that they always carry out their duties very thoroughly and completely, and I have no doubt that our interests are fully protected.

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IND

James Samuel Taylor

Independent

Mr. TAYLOR (Nanaimo):

The point is whether you consider the occupation complete enough to justify yourself in the minds of other governments.

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

I think the fact that they apply to us for permission to go into or fly over the territory is a recognition of our sovereignty. When the Russian flyers, for example, came over the North Pole and succeeded in getting as far as California, and another expedition that was lost last August, I think it was, wished to fly over that territory, they applied in both cases to the Canadian government for permission, which I would consider a more or less formal recognition of our rights in this region.

Mr. TAYLOlR (Nanaimo): Do our friends to the south also ask the same privilege?

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LIB
CON

Grote Stirling

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STIRLING:

Is there not international recognition of the fact that we have a sort of sovereignty over the triangle bounded by the Alaska-Yukon line, continued to the pole, and then to the west coast of Greenland? Is not that internationally accepted?

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May 20, 1938